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Israeli defense chief Ya’alon defers haredi draft orders

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon deferred the draft orders for hundreds of haredi Orthodox yeshiva students.

The students had been scheduled to be inducted into the Israel Defense Forces in August through December following the cancellation of the Tal Law, which had allowed haredi men to defer army service indefinitely.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in February 2012 that the Tal Law was unconstitutional.

A bill that includes haredi men in Israel’s mandatory draft passed its first reading in the Knesset last week. Under the bill, haredi men would be drafted in increasing numbers until 2017, when a vast majority of haredi men would serve in the military or national civilian service.

The second and third reading of the bill will be held either during the Knesset’s summer recess or when the parliament goes back into session in October.

Ya’alon made the decision to wait until the measure is enacted to begin drafting the yeshiva students, according to reports.

He said “there is no other choice but to grant them deferment until November, at which point we will see who wants to join the military and who would be allowed further deferment as per the new law,” Ya’alon reportedly said Monday at a Tel Aviv induction center.

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